News for 3/3/2003

Halle Berry named honorary chair at Spirit Awards

Halle Berry, who won last year’s best actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball, will serve as the honorary chair for the 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards. "Halle Berry has been incredibly generous to independent film with her talent and with her support," Dawn Hudson, executive director of IFP/Los Angeles, said in a statement.

Berry also won a SAG Award, the Berlin Silver Bear Award and was named Best Actress by the National Board of Review in 2002 for her role in Monster’s Ball. She recently starred in the James Bond picture, Die Another Day, and will be seen in the upcoming sci-fi sequel, X-Men 2.

Other honorary presenters at the 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards, which take place on Santa Monica beach on Mar 22, include Adrien Brody and Daniel Day-Lewis - both best actor Oscar nominees this year - Robert Duvall, Anthony LaPaglia, Carrie-Anne Moss, Mekhi Phifer, Parker Posey, Sissy Spacek, Mena Suvari, and Isaiah Washington. Director John Waters will return as the master of ceremonies.

'Amelie's' Kassovitz to Direct Berry and Cruz

HOLLYWOOD (Zap2it.com) - Actor-director Mathieu Kassovitz has signed on to direct "Gothika," a supernatural thriller starring Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz.

Written by Sebastian Gutierrez ("The Big Bounce") for Warner Bros. and Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment, the film centers around a psychiatrist (Berry) who wakes up as a patient in the asylum for the criminally insane where she works and finds that she is being charged with a murder she has no memory of committing. As she wrestles to regain her memory, she finds herself the pawn of a vengeful spirit. Cruz plays Chloe, a charismatic yet deranged patient at the asylum.

"Gothika" is slated to go into production this March, to be released on Halloween, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Warner Bros. will distribute the film domestically, while Columbia Pictures will release it abroad.

Kassovitz is perhaps best known for his acting roles in the films "Amelie" and "Birthday Girl," and for his direction of the films "La Haine" and "The Crimson Rivers."

Cruz stars next in Larry Charles' "Masked & Anonymous" opposite Bob Dylan, and Luc Besson's "Fanfan la tulipe" with Vincent Perez. Berry last appeared in the Bond movie "Die Another Day," and can next be seen in Bryan Singer's "X-Men 2."

News for 2/3/2003

For Berry's 'Eyes' only: ABC telepic

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Zora Neale Hurston's classic 1937 novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is set to become the network's next entry in the "Oprah Winfrey Presents" telefilm series. Halle Berry is attached to star in the production, which is eyeing a summer start date for telecast next season.

The project, long in development at ABC and Winfrey's Harpo Films, reunites Berry and Winfrey, who worked together when Berry starred in the 1998 "Oprah Winfrey Presents" telepic "The Wedding."

Hailed as a masterpiece of black American literature, Hurston's "Eyes" traces the life of Janie Crawford, a free-spirited woman whose search for identity and happiness puts her in opposition to the mores of her small Florida town.

Misan Sagay has penned the script for the movie, which will be executive produced by Winfrey and Harpo Films president Kate Forte. At ABC, the project is overseen by Quinn Taylor, senior vp motion pictures for television.

Production on "Eyes" is scheduled for this summer, with a premiere during the 2003-04 season, sources said.

The project was developed with Berry in mind for the lead. CAA, which reps Berry, was said to have been instrumental in pulling all of the parties together for another ABC telepic.

Berry won an Oscar last year for "Monster's Ball" and a Golden Globe and Emmy in 2000 for HBO's "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge." The actress is attached to star in several feature projects, but she's likely to go before the cameras next on Warner Bros. Pictures' "Gothika" for Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis' Dark Castle banner.

Berry, who next stars in 20th Century Fox's "X2," also is repped by manager Vincent Cirrincione and attorney Neil Meyer at Stone Meyer Genow.

Halle Interviews- Page 1
Halle Interviews- Page 2
Halle's Cosmopolitan Magazine Interview
Halle's Essence Magazine Interview
Halle's Vogue Magazine Interview

News for 1/11/2003

Berry, Cruz join WB's 'Gothika' at Dark Castle

By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Oscar winner Halle Berry is reuniting with her "Swordfish" producer Joel Silver on Warner Bros. Pictures' supernatural thriller "Gothika." Penelope Cruz has also come on board to star in the project, which will be produced under Silver and Robert Zemeckis' Dark Castle banner.

No director is yet on board "Gothika," but production aims to begin in March for a fall release.

The casting of Berry and Cruz in "Gothika" marks the genre label's fourth and highest-profile picture to date, after such films as "Ghost Ship," "13 Ghosts" and "House on Haunted Hill." "Gothika" will also be Dark Castle's highest-budgeted film. (The budgets on Dark Castle's previous films ranged from $19 million-$35 million.)

Written by Sebastian Gutierrez, "Gothika" centers on a female psychiatrist (Berry) who wakes up as a patient in the asylum for the criminally insane where she works and finds that she is being charged with a murder she has no memory of committing. As she wrestles to regain her memory, she finds that she is the pawn of a vengeful spirit.

Cruz will play Chloe, a charismatic yet deranged patient at the facility.

Silver and Zemeckis are producing, with executives Steve Richards and Susan Levin overseeing on behalf of Dark Castle.

Warners picked up the project as a pitch from Gutierrez last year.

Berry and Cruz are repped by CAA. Berry is additionally repped by manger Vincent Cirrincione and attorney Neil Meyer. Cruz is additionally repped by Katrina Bayonas of Kuranda.

Check out Halle on the December 2002 covers of Essence, Cosmopolitan and Vogue magazines.

News for 11/12/2002

Halle Berry Confirms She'd Make Bond Girl Jinx a Female Spy Franchise

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Zap2it.com) -- Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry confirms to Zap2it Sunday that she’s considering starring in a female action spy franchise playing Jinx, her character in the latest James Bond movie, "Die Another Day," which also stars Pierce Brosnan.

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli confirmed to Zap2it.com Sunday at interviews scheduled by MGM that there’s serious talk about creating an action star from the new Bond girl.

"There are talks about it, we are considering it," Broccoli says, adding that it’s about time for a strong female action star. She is the daughter of Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, who helped kick off the Bond franchise.

"She is fantastic in the role, we loved working with her, we’d love to do it more," says Wilson, who’s been involved with the Bond franchise since 1972’s "Spy Who Loved Me" and also co-wrote five Bond films.

The idea was first sparked publicly by Larry King on his CNN interview with Berry last week, who says, "I thought Larry was joking, too."

But, the idea became a bit more serious as critics have become wowed with Berry's Jinx, from the moment she first comes out of the ocean wearing a bikini and toting a knife in an obvious homage to Bond girl Ursula Andress in "Dr. No." Jinx is a duplicitous, heroic, strong American spy character who can fight and kill just as well as her British counterpart. She plays the role with humor, sensitivity, sarcasm and class – and oozing sensuality.

"If they ask me and play Jinx and continue on with this character -- I really love her -- and all that she embodies, I would do it in a heartbeat," says Berry, who now has five movies in production. "I would just somehow have to work it out."

She speaks highly of the producing team of Broccoli and Wilson, saying, "I love them, I’ve not worked for company and two people who have been supportive."

Filming of "Die Another Day" -- the 20th Bond film on the 40th anniversary of the movie franchise – began in January. In late March, Berry left the set to go to the Oscars ceremonies and returned with a Best Actress award for "Monster’s Ball."

"It was four in the morning and everyone on my block was awakened by my screams and shouts for joy," Broccoli recalls.

Judi Dench, an Oscar winner herself, who plays British Intelligence Chief M in the movie, greeted her with a "Well done," Berry recalls.

Berry also says the production team changed the schedule "what must have been 100 times" to accommodate Berry's post-Oscar interviews and publicity tours. She says hopes that she can break new ground with Jinx, much as she did becoming the first African-American actress to win a Best Actress Academy Award.

"It would be a huge deal" to start a franchise with Jinx, Berry agrees. "To be part of the evolution of a female action hero that would never have happened 10 years ago would be very exciting."

This Bond’s director, Lee Tamahori, insisted that although the part was beefed up for Berry, they had no thought of making a franchise of her character when filming began.

"Yet, in a funny way I saw this coming when we started making it," the director tells Zap2it, adding that he was reminded of a pulp fiction 1960s character Modesty Blaze when he watched Berry’s portrayal. "We built her character up to strength and literally made her a female James Bond, there was no intention of franchise at that time."

Jinx follows Bond from Cuba to Iceland to North Korea.

The director says a commitment to spend $100 million on a Jinx franchise may be difficult or even competitive with Bond, but he believes Berry could do it. He says, "I could write and make the movie tomorrow for her."

Tamahori adds, "She’s an American version of Bond. They’ll meet again, or she’ll have her own movie."

News for 11/9/2002

Entertainment Weekly Article

News for 10/30/2002

Halle Berry Starring in October Squall

Variety reports that Halle Berry will star in October Squall, a drama to be directed by Lyndon Chubbuck (The War Bride) with shooting set for 2003.

Berry will play a rape victim who decides to keep the baby and becomes a loving mother. When he reaches puberty, she begins to suspect the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. The film is based on a true story.

Novelist Jason Starr wrote the script under the supervision of Chubbuck and Berry, who will produce with Vincent Cirrincione, William Talmadge and Ivana Chubbuck. Latter is the wife of the director and the acting coach who helped prep Berry for her award-winning work in Monster's Ball.

Berry is next expected to star in the long-in-development Luis Mandoki-directed Need at MGM, with the Lee Tamahori-directed Paramount film The Guide also on her plate. She's currently shooting X2 set for a May 2, 2003 release and her Die Another Day hits theaters November 22.

News for 10/6/2002

Coolidge courts Berry's 'Girl' for director position

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Director Martha Coolidge is near a deal to board the Halle Berry starrer "Brown Eyed Girl" for MGM and studio-based Trilogy Entertainment.

Coolidge is in final negotiations to develop and direct the project, described as a character piece about the ups and downs in love and life of a contemporary woman. Garry Williams penned the screenplay and is working on a rewrite with Coolidge, sources said.

The project reteams the duo, who worked together on HBO's "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," a telefilm that landed Berry a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her work as Dandridge, the first black woman to earn a best actress Oscar nomination.

Berry is producing "Girl" with her manager Vincent Cirrincione along with Trilogy toppers Pen Densham and John Watson. Guy McElwaine will also produce. At the studio, the project is being shepherded by executive vp production Elizabeth Ingold.

"Girl" is one of two projects Berry has in development with MGM -- the other being a remake of 1974's "Foxy Brown" -- after her work in the studio's upcoming James Bond flick, "Die Another Day."

The project does not yet have a start date, so it's unclear when it would fit into Berry's schedule. She is also on board to star in "The Guide" for Paramount Pictures and producer Mark Gordon. Lee Tamahori just signed on to direct that project, which is due to begin lensing early next year (HR 10/4).

Coolidge, who is president of the DGA, is repped by WMA.

News for 10/5/2002

Lee Tamahori Directing The Guide

The Hollywood Reporter says Lee Tamahori has come aboard to direct Halle Berry in Paramount Pictures' action-thriller The Guide. An early-2003 start date is being eyed, says the trade.

The project reteams the director and star, both of whom recently worked together on MGM's latest installment of the James Bond series, Die Another Day, due out Nov. 22.

In the film, Berry plays Jane Whitfield, a Seneca Indian who has the expert gift of helping desperate people escape their negative situations by erasing their pasts and providing them with brand-new identities.

Sidney Lumet Plans The Set-Up

According to Variety, filmmaker Sidney Lumet has adapted and will direct The Set-Up, based on the 1949 classic that starred Robert Ryan. Lumet and the pictures' producers are gunning for a dream team, with Benjamin Bratt and James Gandolfini attached to star, and Halle Berry in talks to join them.

The $20 million-budgeted RKO Pictures project centers on a 35-year-old professional boxer (Bratt) whose glory days have passed. The mob demands he throw a big fight for a cash reward but he's unwilling to accept defeat, as a boxer and as a man. He manages to win the fight and to reaffirm his love for his long-time girlfriend (Berry). Gandolfini would play the role of a former Vegas hotel manager, also in love with the fighter's girlfriend.

The producers hope to shoot the picture in Gotham and Atlantic City, where the big fight takes place; they are in talks with several domestic distributors.

News for 9/10/2002

Halle Berry Makes Her Two-Year Mark

E! Online reports that Die Another Day and X-Men 2 star Halle Berry is attached to star in a romantic comedy called The Two-Year Mark, from scribe Maisha Yearwood. Here's how Yearwood describes the film...

We meet Sidney (Berry) just as she has broken up with her boho beau. She's a driven, career-minded woman with a loft in SoHo, and he works for the AV deptartment of the city library--she doesn't really see a future. As a last ditch effort to win her heart, the boyfriend creates an "Ode to My Sweetie," using electronic equipment plugged into every socket in the loft, which causes an electrical fire, destroying Sydney's apartment. With nowhere to go, she moves uptown to his parents' place.

Way, way uptown. We're talking Harlem. Culture clashes ensue, but you can bet love will find a way. "Halle thought it was really funny," says Yearwood, who based the story on her own relationship with an ex-girlfriend whom she had to move into her parents' Harlem brownstone. "And I'm hoping with her attached, it will help the movie get made."

News for 9/9/2002

Berry eyes role as gifted 'Guide' for Par, Gordon

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Halle Berry, currently in front of cameras playing the Marvel superhero Storm in the "X-Men" sequel "X2," is negotiating to play another kind of hero in the action-thriller "The Guide" for Paramount Pictures and producer Mark Gordon.

Should a deal be reached, the Oscar-winning star of "Monster's Ball" would make "Guide" her next movie, starring as Jane Whitfield, a Seneca Indian who has the expert gift of helping desperate people escape their negative situations by erasing their past and providing them with a brand-new identity.

"Guide" has no director, but one is expected soon with an early-2003 start being eyed.

The project originated from a series of novels by author Thomas Perry that trace the fictional life and experiences of Whitfield. Those novels include "Shadow Woman" -- understood to be the basis for the film -- "Vanishing Act," "Dance for the Dead," "A Taste of Strawberries," "The Face-Changers" and "Blood Money."

Several writers have had their hand in the adaptation, including Jonathan Lemkin, Graham Yost, Ron Koslow, Elizabeth Chandler and Cynthia Mort.

Berry next stars in the 20th installment of MGM's James Bond franchise, "Die Another Day." She is repped by CAA, manager Vincent Cirrincione and attorney Neil Meyer at Stone, Meyer, Genow.

Gordon is at work producing the upcoming productions of 20th Century Fox's "Day After Tomorrow" for helmer Roland Emmerich, Fox's "Tripoli" for Ridley Scott and HBO's "Pancho Villa," starring Antonio Banderas, for director Bruce Beresford.

There's a Need for Halle Berry

According to Variety, Halle Berry will soon sign on the dotted line to topline Need, a thriller written by Chloe King.

Berry would play a psychiatrist who victimizes a suicidal young female patient after discovering the woman is having an affair with her husband.

The film is being directed by Luis Mandoki (Angel Eyes), who most recently wrapped the abduction thriller Trapped for Columbia Pictures.